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Chopper Command


Description: I recieved this game many moons ago, and absolutely adored it. You're a chopper, flying above a convoy of trucks- and the trucks come under attack! Shoot all the planes and helicopters before they destroy your poor little trucks. Great graphics, super sound, incredible gameplay.

Manufacturer: Activision, 1982.


Your first mission? Don't worry. Everyone gets a little nervous. Just make sure you carefully read this instruction manual fist. You'll be dealing with some very sophisticated equipment, and an extremely tricky enemy. So, good luck. The guys on the ground are counting on you.

Chopper Command Basics

The object of the game is to accumulate as many points as possible by knocking out enemy aircraft, while protecting yourself and your truck convoys at the same time.

  1. Hook up your video game system. Follow manufacturer's instructions.
  2. With power OFF, plug in game cartridge.
  3. Turn power ON. If no picture appears, check connection of your game system to TV, then repeat steps 1-3.
  4. Plug in Joystick Controller/s (solo player uses left Joystick)
  5. Set both difficulty switches to b to begin. Switches in this position will cause fast continous fire from your chopper when red button is depressed. Set switches in a position for slower continious fire.
  6. Select game with game select switch:

    CADET LEVEL- Game 1: One player. Game 2: Two players.

    COMMANDER LEVEL Game 3: One player. Game 4: Two Players.

  7. To Start, press game reset and allow helicopter to position itself on left side of screen. Action begins as soon as you move the Joystick or push the red button.
  8. The Joystick Controller is held with the red button in the upper left position. Pressing the button will fire cannons. Holding the button down will activate the continuous fire mode. Pushing the Joystick up will cause your helicopter to ascend; pulling it back will bring it down. Moving the Joystick left or right will cause your helicopter to face to the left or to the right. Pushing the Joystick to the left or to the right will move your helicopter in that direction.
  1. The Long Range Scanner at the bottom of the screen will enable you to detect both approaching truck convoys (friendly) and enemy aircraft well ahead of time. The truck convoys appear as white "blips" on the very bottom of scanner while enemy aircraft appear as white "blips" above the convoy. Your helicopter gunship is the black dot. You can calculate that the area represented on the long range is roughly 5 miles, while the area portrayed on the screen is about 1 mile.
  2. There are increasing levels of intensity. Each level will start with a wave of twelve enemy ships and twelve trucks in your convoy. There are ten waves of enemy attackers, with each wave being faster than the one before. Take care! Enemy aircraft fire multi-warhead missiles which will split in two after being launched from the craft. These missiles can destroy both your helicopter and the trucks below, and since you cannot shoot the missiles down, you must dodge them.
  3. You have an unlimited supply of ammunition, so go ahead and blanket the sky with your laser cannons.
  4. Scoring. Each time you shoot down an enemy helicopter, you will earn 100 points. For every enemy jet you shoot down, you will be credited with 200 points. Should you wipe out an entire wave of hostile aircraft, you will receive a bonus calculated by multiplying the number of trucks remaining in the convoy times the wave number achieved (one through ten) times 100.
  5. You have helicopter reserves. You start the game with three choppers in your fleet. For every 10,000 points you score, an extra helicopter will be added to your squadron, up to a maximum of six. The number of extra choppers appears under the score.


You'll be amazed at how responsive your chopper is to the slightest movements of the Joystick. Pushing the Joystick up will cause your helicopter to climb; pulling it back will make your craft descend. Right or left movements will guide your gunship's horizontal motion. After flying in one direction, pushing the Joystick in the opposite direction will cause an immediate 180 degree turn. Notice also that your chopper "drifts" slightly after pivoting 180 degrees (this should be helpful in better timing your shots.

Your chopper can hover close to the ground, but be careful not to collide with your convoy. You'll destroy the helicopter and a truck.

Remember, don't be too aggressive at first. keep your chopper on the left side of the screen facing right, and size up the situation. This will give you time to better recognize enemy tactics. Then, when you feel more confident, you can seek out the enemy and get them before they get to your or your trucks.

The long range scanner is a very useful tool. However, you'll have to keep your eyes on the larger video scren and the scanner at the same time. Watching one and not the other could be dangerous. Don't forget, the long range scanner is for estimating the position of enemy aircraft and not for lining up shots. You cannot hit the enemy unless you can see them on the larger screen.


If you reach a score of 10,000 points (or more) on the Cadet level, you will be eligible to join this prestigious organization. Just send us a picture of your TV screen and we'll present you with a special "Commandos" emblem.

Tips from Bob Whitehead, designer of Chopper Command.

Bob Whitehead is a Senior Designer at Activision. Before creating Chopper Command, Bob designed Boxing, Skiing and Stampede for Activision.

"As you'll soon discover, Chopper Command takes quick reflexes and keen cooridination. However, there is a strategic side to the game as well.

"For example, your truck convoys will always travel from the right to the left. And so will the enemy formations. Knowing this, you can position yourself at the left side of the screen and start firirng as soon as the enemy aircraft appear. This is important because your helicopters chance of being hit by a multi-warhead missile increase the closer the enemy aircraft get. The enemy pilots are real kamikazes, too, and they'll collide with you if they can't shoot you down.

"Good luck! I hope you have as much fun playing Chopper Command as I had designing it. God Bless."

Bob Whitehead

P.S. Drop me a line. I'd sure like to hear how our guys are doing at the front.